Endodontic Therapy

Tooth Ache & Root Canal Treatment in Frederick, MD

At Monocacy Valley Dental, our mission is to help patients throughout the Frederick, MD area achieve beautiful, healthy smiles through comprehensive dental treatment. We are a full-service dental practice offering a wide range of treatments including general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry, and we work hard to personalize treatment to fit the lifestyles of our patients. Our practice focuses on preventive care whenever possible, but if a cavity does progress to the point of threatening a tooth, we can use endodontic therapy to treat it.

What Is a Root Canal?

Endodontic therapy, also known as a root canal, is a relatively painless treatment which aims at clearing a current bacterial infection as well as protecting the tooth from subsequent infections. A canal is generally used when an infection progresses to the point of threatening the integrity of the tooth.

When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause infection. Without treatment, this infection can form a painful abscess, and the bacteria may even penetrate into the jawline and threaten adjacent teeth. This not only puts your jawbones at risk for injury, but it is also detrimental to your overall health. Without the proper treatment, it's possible to lose not only the affected tooth, but even nearby teeth.

While many people realize they need a root canal because of a persistent toothache, teeth that require endodontic therapy are not always painful. There are a number of symptoms that may show you need a root canal, including:

  • Severe toothache
  • Pain upon chewing or application of pressure
  • Prolonged sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Dark discoloration of the tooth
  • Swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums

What Happens in a Root Canal?

A root canal is a relatively minor, routine procedure, and we'll usually be able to complete it in one to three visits, depending on the complexity of the case. The procedure starts with our Frederick dentist carefully removing affected dental tissue and dental pulp, then cleaning and sterilizing the area. Your dentist will then shape the tooth and fill it with a strong, biocompatible dental composite, finishing the procedure by sealing the tooth and shaping it to restore its natural appearance. In cases of extensive decay, your dentist may suggest using a crown to fully restore the tooth.

Will I Need A Tooth Extracted?

The beauty of root canal treatment is it allows us to save teeth that would otherwise be lost. Thanks to this, we can save and repair the vast majority of teeth with endodontic therapy. However, there are some cases where a root canal may not be appropriate and we may recommend tooth extraction:

  • Roots are severely fractured
  • The tooth does not have adequate bone support
  • The tooth cannot be restored
  • Root canals are not accessible

Contact Your Frederick, MD Family Dentist

Root canals are simple and effective procedures that let us save your natural teeth and repair your smile, preventing the pain of advanced dental decay. If you think you might be in need of a root canal or have another dental issue you'd like to discuss, we're always here to help. Take the first step – contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve a healthy, complete smile. We can't wait to hear from you!